Thursday October 27th, 2011 – 9 pm

Vienna Philharmonic

Conductor: Georges Prêtre

Anton Bruckner (1824-1896)
Symphony no. 7 in E major WAB 107
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor:Georges Prêtre

The Vienna Philharmonic
There is perhaps no other musical ensemble more consistently and closely associated with the history and tradition of European classical music than the Vienna Philharmonic. In the course of its over 160 year history, the musicians of this most prominent orchestra of the capital city of music have been an integral part of a musical epoch which due to an abundance of outstandingly gifted composers and interpreters must certainly be regarded as unique. The orchestra's close association with this rich musical history is best illustrated by the statements of countless pre-eminent musical personalities of the past. Richard Wagner described the orchestra as being one of the most outstanding in the world; Anton Bruckner called it "the most superior musical association"; Johannes Brahms counted himself as a "friend and admirer"; Gustav Mahler claimed to be joined together through "the bonds of musical art"; and Richard Strauss summarized these sentiments by saying: "All praise of the Vienna Philharmonic is like carrying violins to Vienna."

Georges Prêtre was born in Douai in Northern France and completed his musical studies at the Conservatoire National Supérieur in Paris. In 1946 he made his debut at Marseilles Opera aged 22. From there, his engagements brought him via the Opéra Comique in Paris to the Paris Opera, the Metropolitan Opera in New York and to La Scala in Milan. In 1970, Georges Prêtre became Music Director of the Paris Opera. He led the foremost European Orchestras: Vienna and Berlin Philharmonic, the big American and the London Orchestras, etc. In 1986 he was appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra for a period of five years. During this period, he led several tours through Europe, Japan and the USA. In July 1989 Georges Prêtre inaugurated the new Bastille Opera in Paris. He has been Honorary Conductor of the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra since 1995. During 1999, for the commemoration of Francis Poulenc’s 100th birthday, he conducted several programs with works of this composer. In 2001, upon the 100th year of Giuseppe Verdi’s death he conducted various performances of the Verdi Requiem. In the same year he returned with an enormous success to conduct Turandot at the Scala in Milan. In 2004, the year of his 80th birthday, Georges Prêtre returned to conduct his preferred European Orchestras: Santa Cecilia di Roma, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala, Teatro La Fenice di Venezia, Wiener Symphoniker, Wiener Philharmoniker, SWR-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart, NDR-Sinfonieorchester Hamburg, Staatskapelle Dresden as well as – in France – Orchestre National de France, Orchestre de l’Opéra National de Paris, and Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse. In January 2008, Georges Prêtre gave his highly acclaimed debut as conductor of the Vienna Philharmonic’s New Year’s concert at Vienna’s Musikverein. The concert was followed by a quick re-invitation by the Vienna Philharmonic for the New Year’s concert 2010. Georges Prêtre’s agenda for 2011/12 includes a tour with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, concerts in the frame of the “Wiener Festwochen” with Wiener Symphoniker, a Beethoven-series with Munich Philharmonic, as well as concerts with Staatskapelle Dresden, Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala and Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia.